How difficult is the MPT (multistate performance test)? Many students wonder how difficult the MPT is. In Uniform Bar Exam states, the MPT is worth 20% of an examinee’s score and in non-Uniform Bar Exam states, it is usually worth about 10% of an examinee’s score. So, it is an important part of the bar exam! The real question is, how difficult is it?
How difficult is the MPT?
The MPT is more difficult for some than others. Here we will list some of the things that examinees find challenging about the MPT. We also list some of the ways in which the MPT is easier than other portions of the bar exam. Since you go into the bar exam with your own unique strengths and weaknesses, you may find some of these aspects of the MPT challenging, and perhaps you will not find others as challenging.
The MPT is difficult in the following ways:
- It requires you to pay close attention to directions. Students who do not make it a point to closely read the task memo and make sure they are following directions will lose points. It is very difficult for some students to train themselves to do this!
- You cannot treat all facts and law equally. One of the hardest things about the MPT for some students is that they don’t know how to pick out relevant facts and distinguish them from irrelevant facts. This is something that can be learned, but it takes practice. Many of these students end up not completing the MPT task in the alloted time.
- Timing! Timing is the hardest part about the MPT for the vast majority of examinees. Sure, if you had all day to write a persuasive brief, it would probably be beautiful. But, in most states, you only have 90 minutes. So you have to work efficiently in the time you have!
A few things that make the MPT easier than other portions of the bar exam:
- It is a closed universe test. This means that you do not have to memorize a bunch of rules to do well on the MPT! This is purely a test of skills!
- You can improve a lot with some practice! Practice can help you nail down formatting, organization, and writing. The students who do the best on the MPT are those that make writing MPT answers part of their weekly schedule.
- It is something that comes naturally to many law students, particularly those who have had practical legal experience. Law students are used to reading and writing. It is something that you did throughout law school and may have done outside of law school in a law-related job. So, it comes more naturally than, say, answering MBE questions. Note: You don’t want to fall into the trap of being over-confident about the MPT because of this. But, it is one of the things that makes the MPT less intimidating.
The absolute best way to make sure you will score high on the MPT is to practice! There is really no great shortcut. The more experience you have writing MPT answers, the higher you will score!
If you have any questions about the MPT, please feel free to ask in the comments below or contact us.
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